TOO YOUNG TO DRIVE: Death of youths a loss to the nation

THE “tidak apa” attitude in society, lack of enforcement and road education, too many vehicles on the road, absence of effective policies, and the irresponsible and reckless behaviour of our drivers are some of the main causes of the many road fatalities involving young Malaysians.

As pointed out by the Malaysian Institute Of Road Safety, over the years, many road fatalities in the country involve young people below 25, and many of those who died were motorcyclists and pillion riders. Their deaths are a great loss to the nation as they were in their prime of their lives and could have played an important role in nation-building.

These young drivers and motorcyclists love to speed, often running the red light, cutting queues and tailgating others. They not only expose themselves, but also others to danger.

It is quite shocking to read that a large number of motorcyclists involved in road accidents do not possess a licence.

One wonders how they were allowed on the road and where is the enforcement? Chances are, many of these motorbikes on the road are without road tax and insurance, too.

The idea of raising the minimum driving age for motorbikes of 16 and 17 for cars had been proposed and discussed in the past, but because of certain reasons, it was never implemented.

I feel it is time the government looked at this proposal again to help minimise tragedies on the road among young people.

Being young and inexperienced, they lack the skill, know-how and composure.

The situation is made worse by the increasing number of vehicles on the road that are driven in a dangerous and menacing manner.

Driving in this country is stressful, unpleasant and even dangerous. And that is why Malaysia has one of the highest accident rates in the world. Something urgent must be done to stop this.

The recent Chinese New Year balik kampung rush saw about 1.2 million vehicles on the road.

Parents and guardians must exercise caution before allowing their young ones to drive. They must never take things for granted and trust their children blindly and spoil them.

Perhaps it would help if the Transport Ministry upgrades the present driving test and make it more difficult to obtain a licence.

At the end of the day, all Malaysians must practice safe and cultured driving like in developed countries.

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